Bedsheets rustled as she tossed and turned, restless, never quite catching sleep, hovering in the disorienting state between dream and reality. The alarm clock on the nightstand, ticking away hours second by painfully long second, was beginning to grate on her nerves. It seemed to be louder even than the old, now broken, grandfather clock had been. After a few more minites that felt like an eternity each, she gave up, kicking the blankets aside and getting up on slightly unsteady feet.
Drowsily, she wandered to the kitchen, on the way picking up her favourite mug from the computer desk in the living room. With a sigh, she regarded the vast open space as she measured out the coffee powder. The apartment seemed so large now, too large just for her. Then again, she'd be loathe to give it up. Even though every object reminded her of him, of their time together, she wanted to stay. It had taken a long time to find the place, and it was still perfect for her. It had just been so lonely, in the long months since the funeral.
Sighing again, she went to the kitchen window and gazed outside. It was barely over two in the morning, still dark, only the lamp on the outer wall giving some light. It was windy, and shadows played in rapid movements against the pavement. Right as she intended to pull away, something flickered, a larger shadow moved across the light, and then, the lamp went dead.
Almost immediately after, the doorbell rang.
She stared into the darkness of the apartment, feeling much like a deer in headlights. It had never been an especially dangerous neighbourhood, but it was the middle of the night, anything could happen. The bell rang again, twice, thrice. A moment's pause, and then began a pounding. Nervous, she switched off the coffee machine, grabbed the largest knife she could find, telling herself she could never be too careful, then ventured out into the hall, towards the door. The pounding still continued.
She stretched a shaky hand to the knob. The moment her fingers touched on the cold metal surface, the door flew open with enough force to knock her back, out of balance.
The sight that greeted her struck her speechless, like a punch to her stomach, made her shake her head in a futile attempt to clear it. This couldn't be possible. She must still be sleeping, still in her bed, finally sunk into the realm of dreams.
The tall, dark man grinned, stepping in, and his teeth were too sharp. He towered over her, his cold breath tickling her face with icy fingers. No, this man wasn't even breathing, her brain registered a scant second before he spoke with her dead fiancé's voice.
"Hello, luv. Did you miss me?"
That night, the neighbours were startled awake by a loud scream that was followed by the sound of porcelain shattering into thousands of little pieces.
Blessings of the muse